The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is to stage a solidarity march to the borders of Swaziland on 12 April to support the ‘uprising’ planned in the kingdom for that day.
The following Cosatu media statement outlines the plans for the day and the reasons for the march.
COSATU invades Swaziland in solidarity with the workers and the poor
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Mpumalanga will stage a protest march to the Oshoek Swaziland border gate in support of the struggle waged by the people of Swaziland for freedom and democracy.
The past few weeks have seen a lot of protest actions inside Swaziland by the poor and the working class demanding both political and economic freedom.
The COSATU Provincial Executive Committee has taken a decision to provide active solidarity by staging a protest march against the dictatorship of the Mswati regime.
We believe that this march will be a final push to the collapse of the Mswati regime which is already limping and bleeding like a wounded animal.
We regret that since the 1973 degree imposed by Mswati to the people of Swaziland, that banned political parties, banned political activism, subjected the people of Swaziland into the subjects of the King and his family – the socio – economic status of the people of Swaziland is deteriorating.
The Socio – Economic profile of Swaziland indicates that:
More than forty 40% of the people of Swaziland and are unemployed.
Swaziland has one of the highest levels of inequalities between the rich and the poor; the poor are getting poorer on daily basis.
About 70% of the people of Swaziland live below the poverty line, over 300 000 of the one million citizens depend on food aid.
Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, which is hovering between 40 and 50% of the population.
The economy of Swaziland is centred around the royal family and their trusted friends.
COSATU has vowed in its PEC to intensify the struggle against the brutal and autocratic Mswati regime through protest actions including border blockages, pickets, protest marches inside and outside Swaziland.
In this regard on the 12 April 2011 COSATU will stage protest march from South Africa to the Oshoek border gate in Swaziland to demand the following:-
Unbanning of all political parties
Unconditional return of all those who are exiled
Freedom of choice and association